North Dakota Highway Patrol uses Twitter to announce numerous highway mishaps

Highway 81 overpass traffic 2.jpg
Traffic is backed up at an exit on Interstate 29 where it crosses old Highway 81, just north of Grand Forks, in this photo taken late Friday morning. The North Dakota Department of Transportation closed I-29 from Grand Forks to the Canada border earlier in the day due to what it considered life-threatening conditions. (Jennifer Ekberg/Grand Forks Herald)

The North Dakota Highway Patrol has been busy helping stranded vehicles on snow- and ice-covered highways throughout the state.

Around 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, the NDHP used the social media platform Twitter to say it already had helped more than 50 stranded vehicles in the Jamestown area. Nearly all of those vehicles already had been safely removed.

However, the NDHP at that time noted, "conditions are worsening."

Around noon, the NDHP advised motorists traveling east on Highway 2 near Minot to "stop and find accommodations. ... If this becomes an extended closure, access to hotel rooms, parking or restaurants will become limited."

Around 10 a.m., NDHP tweeted from near Thompson, saying "there are many cars in the ditch, conditions are hazardous. PLEASE heed all advisories and if YOU MUST travel, slow down."


At least once during the day, the Highway Patrol including an ominous hashtag: #stayhome.

Near Grand Forks, Interstate 29 was closed late in the morning, causing traffic jams as vehicles sought to exit the roadway. North of Grand Forks, near Manvel, numerous semi trucks and other vehicles were at a near standstill as exited the highway.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, I-29 was still open south of Grand Forks, although the area is under a no-travel advisory.

The storm rolled into the Dakotas and Minnesota in earnest on Thursday. Slight precipitation in the form of mist began Wednesday evening in and around Grand Forks; by Thursday afternoon, it was a heavy rain that gave way to sleet and then snow. It is ongoing as a full-on snowstorm in the region Friday.

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